A Tree Meets A Chain-Link Fence

A tenderfoot sapling,
She moves without plan,
Not knowing glass from plastic
From felled tree from fence.

The stubborn old grid,
Unmoved, leaves a mark.
(A beauty mark, you might say,
Were there eyes to behold it.)
One line of one warped diamond link
Sunk into pulp
To make two plump grey lips.

No eyes, no face,
No tongue, no teeth,
Just two wooden lips
Which time knits together –
Two lips…then one fist.

Our tree is fortunate!
These are ill-maintained woods.
The fence posted in soil
Less dead than alive,
The links hung from rust cylinders
Shadowed out by oak stands.

So when fat lips erupt
And swallow thin lines,
The grey girth can keep ringing,
Tying knots across diamonds,
Joining knuckle to knuckle
Until it’s all trunk.

All trunk, all tree,
With caught boundary inside.
Trapped math turned beauty
Imagined, not seen.